Friday, February 29, 2008

Learning Curve

Most things in life have some kind of learning curve. Things like mowing the grass (in general) aren't so tough and you can be doing it with halfway decent results in very little time. Start the engine and walk. Simple. Other things aren't so easy. Brain surgery, for instance, requires an undergraduate degree, a graduate degree in medical school, a lot of time as an internist and a specialization. By the time you get to the point where you feel like you actually might know what you're doing, you're in your mid forties or older (seems to me, anyway), and then, you're still only 'practicing' medicine. Big curve there.

I'm sure that life on a farm will be full of learning curves. In my effort to prepare myself, I've decided that when I want to make chicken (fried, that is), I'm going to buy a whole chicken and cut it up myself. Now, realize, I've done this all of about three times in my life.

I remember as a kid, my mom would cut up a chicken to bake or fry and the sound of the knife cutting through the bone would absolutely gross me out. I still don't like it, but I've gotta deal with it.

Why do I want to cut up my own chicken instead of buying it that way to begin with? Self-sufficiency, to begin with. Accomplishment, for another. Besides, if I raise chickens, I'm gonna have to learn how to kill and dress one. If I already know how to cut it up, then the job is half done.

So, I just cut up a chicken for dinner tonight. I'm learning where to cut and how to separate everything. I don't mess with the back. I save it and throw it in a pot, stew the meat off and save the broth for noodles. This time it wasn't as bad as the last time, and I'm sure I learned a thing or two that will help next time be even better. I'm still amazed at how large the breasts were on that bird. I cut each in two just because I knew it wouldn't all get eaten in the larger pieces.

What are your experiences cutting up chickens? Got any advice?

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